When a baby’s crying, it’s because they’re hungry, sick, dealing with a wet diaper, feeling overwhelmed, or uncomfortable.
As many parents can attest, I know how much you’d love to instantly address the problems when the baby cries as you get tired and cranky, too.
With that, I’ll show you this article on how to calm a fussy baby with five essential tips and a few calming techniques.
In calming a fussy newborn or other crying babies, you must first identify what they need.
Do they need a walk, snuggle in the arms, soft cloth wrap, or food?
Since newborns can’t talk, you can try different calming methods, such as:
- Checking and changing their diapers or feeding them
- Comforting in a swaddle
- Cradling and swaying
- Entertaining with toys and humming sounds
For more in-depth tips and tricks for calming newborns, here are my five important tips for parents like you:
1. Check and Change the Diaper
First, check the fussy babies’ diapers.
Most of the time, having a dirty diaper will make babies cry hard as it irritates the skin and makes them uncomfortable.
In changing the diapers, you can:
- Place the fussy baby on a changing pad
- Take the old diaper by lifting your baby’s ankles
- Clean your baby with baby wipes
- Apply a baby cream
- Put the new diapers and secure it
Always put the natural baby cream to prevent rashes or soothe discomfort, so they stop crying and gradually fall asleep.
2. Feed or Use a Pacifier
If the baby’s cries continue even after changing the diapers, maybe, the fussy newborn is hungry.
You’ll know if a baby cries for food if they show one of these signs based on the USDA WIC Breastfeeding Support:
- Placing the hands into the mouth
- Restless and frantically looks for milk using head turns
- Successive open-close mouth movements or lip-smacking
When you observe these signs, IMMEDIATELY feed your fussy baby.
If you have trouble expressing milk, try an organic formula to calm your fussy baby.
Just place the pacifier on the lower lip, right above a baby’s chin, and let them start the sucking movement.
Check out this guide for the complete list of baby medical supplies!
3. Comfort With a Swaddle
Now that you have checked the diaper and fed them, yet they’re still crying, you can comfort them with a swaddle.
Swaddling entails wrapping your babies in a cloth and tucking every part inside the soft blanket.
If your baby wants its hands out of a swaddle, read this helpful guide.
Swaddling can calm fussy babies and:
- Ease the colic symptoms and gas of a baby
- Provide security for the baby
- Lessen startling, anxiety, and scratching of baby
You can refer to the image above for proper swaddling or watch this YouTube video.
REMEMBER: Comforting a baby and ensuring the baby feels secure can also be in the form of giving them a warm bath.
4. Cradle and Move When Babies Cry
Sometimes, most babies need emotional support from you. Well, a simple step to establish this is by cradling your baby.
In cradling, ensure that you lay your baby’s head on your arm, securing its weight and ensuring the baby won’t fall.
Then, your free hand will gently rub and anchor the back and feet.
Also, have your baby face upwards while keeping your baby close to your chest for more intimate, skin-to-skin contact.
While cradling the baby, you can move in a slow swaying motion, sit on a rocking chair and let it rock you, ride a car and place the baby on an infant seat, or walk around.
You can also make a bassinet more comfortable to calm your baby down.
TIP: You can also dim the lights while you rock and move the infant indoors to replicate a womb.
5. Entertain With Toys and Music
Don’t get too frustrated when all the other tips fail because nothing’s as miraculous as calming your babies with toys and music.
You can use rattles that are big enough not to get in their mouth, as babies tend to eat the things they hold.
If your babies cry and don’t want to hold the rattles, you can shake it yourself in front of your baby’s face.
However, when rattles don’t work, music will surely save you and soothe babies! You can try these:
- A humming sound to catch your baby’s attention, make them sleep, or develop cognitive functions
- A white noise machine to block out outside noises (e.g., child noise, vacuum cleaner)
Did you know that white noise does more? White noise can make babies feel secure, focused, and relaxed.
What Makes Babies Fussy?
Infants cry and get fussy when they get hurt, smell something unpleasant, feel irritated, their crib is too hard, or their environment is too hot or cold.
Nonetheless, many babies become fussy as they go through the growth spurts stage.
In this stage, they cannot sleep longer, may feel crankier, and may need more food than usual.
Babies will get tired as their sleep patterns change, which contributes to crying. Sometimes, this leads to a surge in the baby’s temperature.
However, the primary culprit in most babies’ intense crying sessions is colic, particularly when the crying continues for about three weeks.
What Is Colic?
Colic in a baby is often caused by gas sensitivity, milk allergy, lactose intolerance, or the natural world adjustments (crib dilemma!), which may be too different from the womb.
It would be best if you watched out for these symptoms of colic in your newborns:
- Excessive and unnatural burping
- Crouch body and clench fist when crying
- Tight stomach
- Flushed face
The most important thing to do when you observe these on your baby is to call your pediatrician and seek help.
Nonetheless, this is a common newborn sickness that you can easily remedy! Learn more on how to the many newborn baby rules here.
What Is Shaken Baby Syndrome?
Shaken baby syndrome (SBS) is a deadly or mild brain injury where swelling and bleeding brains usually occur.
The aggressive shaking of a newborn causes an SBS, which can also result in cognitive and behavioral problems.
Moreover, a common symptom of this syndrome is fussiness, too much sleep, and problems in eating and breathing.
Nevertheless, you can prevent this with proper education and training on carefully handling a baby with weak bones and muscles
You can also seek medical intervention when you, as a parent, cannot control the stress of raising a child.
Frequently Asked Questions
I know you’ve been eager to throw questions.
Nothing to worry about because I have answered some of your frequently asked questions below!
What if the Crying Goes on for Hours?
If the crying goes on for many hours a day, along with not having an appetite and a fever, call your doctor, who may run some physical examination to ensure the baby’s health.
Calling a family member is also preferred for some helping hands.
How Can I Tell if My Baby Has Colic?
Your babies may have colic if they experience a tight stomach, immoderate burping, a flushed face, and crouching and clenching when crying.
Yet, having a doctor check-up on your baby is the only way to confirm colic.
How Long Should You Let a Baby Cry?
Assess first: the temperature, symptoms mentioned above, different cry sounds, hunger, food allergies, or skin irritation.
If none of these seem apparent to your baby, and if you’ve done everything to calm a crying infant, you can let a baby cry for 10 to 20 minutes inside a secured crib.
With all these tips to calm a crying baby, I know you can apply one or more that you can use when your infants cry at home.
Remember to be wary of colic and other diseases, feed them, and shower them with love and physical support.
So, if your baby is crying, it’s not the time to get frustrated. Instead, it’s high time to calm them down with these five important tips!
EXTRA TIP: It is also important to keep your baby warm on a cool night to prevent fussiness. Read how in this guide!